Series: About the Collaborative

Collaborative Highlights CPS Work at National Math Teacher Conference

For three years the Collaborative has been partnering with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and Depaul University to form the Chicago P12 Math Collaborative. On January 28th-30th, 2016 representatives of this partnership presented at the 20th Annual Conference of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE) to highlight the unique alliance between the three institutions and its promising outcomes.

Joined in Irvine, California with over 650 math teachers and teacher educators, Collaborative presenters described the district-wide structure of teacher leaders, trainings, coaching, and school-based meetings that have been providing a network of support to teachers throughout Chicago. The partnership has been serving the district’s 664 schools, with Erikson Institute shepherding the PreK-5th grades and Depaul University overseeing the 6th-12th grades.

Professional development in all grades is designed around the TRU Math Framework, a structure that includes five dimensions that are believed to be mathematically powerful, actionable, and accessible in real world classrooms. These include such considerations as recognizing the cognitive demand of tasks in order to give children the opportunity to make their own sense of the mathematical ideas being presented. Other TRU math dimensions tackle such aspects as student agency and the ability to recognize and assess student misunderstandings in the classroom.

Using video examples from CPS classrooms as well as a summative review of progress and challenges so far, presenters discussed what they have learned through this work at scale. One take-away was a shift to emphasizing why particular strategies and resources were being used and promoted. Teachers need to understand the rationale for instructional shifts and how they contribute to a mathematically powerful classroom.

Presenters at the conference included Early Math Collaborative’s Jeanine Brownell, and Lynn Narasimhan and Ruth Seward from DePaul University.